04 June 2010

Brock and Kolla mysteries

The last time I read a fair amount of crime fiction was in the early eighties. Lately, Siu Hean had passed me a stack of Brock and Kolla mysteries by Barry Maitland, a professor of architecture. I have read most of the books he lent me. I am now reading the last one that he had lent to me, 'Spider Trap'.

  • The Marx Sisters (1994)
  • The Malcontenta (1995)
  • All My Enemies (1996)
  • The Chalon Heads (1999)
  • Silvermeadow (2000)
  • The Verge Practice (2003)
  • No Trace (2004)
  • Spider Trap (2006)

The police procedural series has been vastly entertaining, being intricately plotted with numerous suspects and motives in each. It has been a rush. After this, I will return to my usual pile.

An aspect of these novels that I enjoyed is the emphasis placed on scene and location. The shopping mall, the square with the artists village, the health spa and more. The scene can sometimes be described as the primary character in each volume. Locales matter. Characters do not come in second either as suspects are memorable, being not restricted to the non-police!

As for recommendations, I am not sure if I can recommend them to everyone. They are fairly easy to read, the prose being basic and functional. The wit is there if one can catch it. Likewise, the references to architecture and culture. I like the sarcasm and the characterisations. As I was stating earlier, the books are not difficult but it may just not be for everyone, perhaps, reading these is an acquired taste. However, I do think that there is no harm in giving one a try. The novels are entertaining.

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